WHILE he’s in seventh heaven, might as well shoot for the stars, too.
Fresh from a impressive Ultimate Fighting Championship debut (UFC) less than three weeks ago in Melbourne, Jenel Lausa is already dreaming of a fight against the top draw of the world’s top mixed martial arts promotion.
Asked who he wants to fight next after scoring an unanimous decision win over Chinese Yao Zhiku, the homegrown Filipino fighter mentioned Conor McGregor without batting an eyelash, confident he can match up well against someone who thrives fighting on his feet.
“Striker naman siya at striker ako, so pwede,” Lausa beamed in his homecoming press conference on Wednesday. “Magandang laban yun — kung ibigay sa atin.”
But the 28-year-old flyweight from Iloilo is well aware that it’s just wishful thinking as McGregor has moved up to lightweight, making a rousing debut by knocking out Eddie Alvarez in UFC 205 in New York last month.
“Syempre malaki na yun (timbang niya) eh. Hindi na natin kaya yun,” said the 5-foot-5 Lausa, who stands four inches shorter than McGregor. “Okay lang sa boxing, pero MMA, hindi naman mangyayari yun.”
“Kung bumaba siya ng timbang, kahit one-thirty-five lang, pwede, kaya,” he added, referring to the featherweight division, where McGregor has fought most of his career. “Mas maganda yung matchup na yun.”
The former Pacific X-Treme Combat flyweight champion, who signed a two-year, four-fight contract with UFC earlier this year, is tentatively set to return to action next March in Las Vegas against a still-undetermined foe.
“Gawin lang natin yung best natin pagdating ng laban,” Lausa said. “Maipakita natin sa buong mundo na kaya natin.”
“Kailangan ko lang i-improve yung sa ground game ko,” he added. “Kailangan tayo mag-aral ng grappling.”
For now, Lausa continues to celebrate the victory, an early wedding present before he and fiancé Hannah tie the knot in a civil marriage next Wednesday in his hometown.